Inquiry and Change: The Troubled Attempt to Understand and Shape Society

Charles E. Lindblom, Author Yale University Press $35 (314p) ISBN 978-0-300-04794-3
How do ordinary citizens in a democratic society go about gathering facts and grappling with social and political problems? Very poorly, contends Yale political scientist Lindblom. He charges that ignorance, peer pressure, illiteracy and the use of media for propaganda purposes deter most citizens from the kinds of inquiry necessary for rational problem-solving. Though couched in social-science jargon, this provocative, clearsighted treatise offers a devastating critique of massive public apathy and the restricted flow of information. In Lindblom's analysis, schools breed docile conformists, and the conditioning of children into law-abiding adults impairs their capacity to think independently. The book, a yardstick for knowledge-seekers in all fields, argues that every concept of the public welfare favors some groups over others, and knocks social scientists who pretend to neutral detachment. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1990
Release date: 10/01/1990
Paperback - 330 pages - 978-0-300-05667-9
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